Apple's new 2019 iMacs deliver twice the speed as previous model, Vega graphics option

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited March 19
Updated iMacs have been released with the same overall design as before -- but with faster processor speeds, greater storage options, and improved GPUs available in custom configurations.




As part of its hardware announcements ahead of the March 25 event, Apple has revamped the iMac with two new models that improve on all previous specifications but retain the same physical design of the previous models. In their first update since June 2017, Apple's new iMacs again come in two sizes.

The 21.5-inch iMac now features 8th-generation quad-core processors, and can be configured with six-core processors, delivering up to 60 percent faster performance, according to Apple. The 27-inch iMac now for the first time features up to 9th-generation six-core and eight-core processors, delivering up to 2.4 times faster performance.

Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics can be added to the 21.5-inch iMac, delivering up to 80 percent faster graphics performance than the previous model. The 27-inch iMac with optional Radeon Pro Vega 48 now delivers up to 50 percent faster graphics performance.

Neither the iMac 4K, nor the iMac 5K have Apple's T2 chip, as found in the MacBook Pro and Mac mini.

Both are available to order starting on Tuesday from apple.com and the Apple Store App, and in Apple Stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers the week of March 25. The new 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display starts at $1,299 and the new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display starts at $1,799. The non-Retina display iMac configuration continues to be available for $1,099.

21.5-inch iMac 4K configurations

The base model iMac 4K has a 3.6 GHz quad-core eighth-generation i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and a Radeon Pro 555x. A $1499 configuration has a 3.0 GHz six-core eighth generation i5 processor, a 1TB fusion drive and the Radeon Pro 560X.

The $1499 configuration can be upgraded with a 3.2GHz eighth-generation i7 processor for $200, and the Vega 20 graphics for an additional $350. Upgrading to 512GB of flash storage retails for $300. A configuration with that i7 processor, Vega 20, 512GB of flash storage and 16GB of RAM retails for $2549, with shipments on April 3.

27-inch iMac configurations

The 27-inch iMac base configuration for $1799 includes a 3.0 GHz six-core eighth generation processor with a peak speed of 4.1 GHz, 8GB of DDR4RAM, a 1TB fusion drive, and a Radeon Pro 570X. A 27-inch configuration is available for $2299 that has a 3.7 GHz six-core ninth generation i5 processor with a peak speed of 4.6 GHz, 8GB of RAM, a 2TB Fusion Drive, and the Radeon Pro 580X. The RAM on all configurations has been upgraded to 2666MHz DDR4, and is user-upgradeable.

The i9 processor can be added to the $2299 27-inch iMac configuration for $400, with Vega 48 graphics available for $450. Moving to 512GB of flash storage on the high-end incurs a $100 charge as well. Adding the i9, 512GB of Flash instead of the super drive, the Vega 48 graphics, and upgrading to 16GB of RAM will retail for $3349, with delivery around April 3.

Previous iMacs

Previously, those same base prices got you a 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor in the 21.5-inch model and a 3.0 GHz quad-core version in the 27-inch model. Both models used to come with a base of 8GB and were upgradeable to 16GB. There was a second version of the 27-inch iMac that had a 3.4 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 which was also upgradeable to 32GB RAM and cost from $1499.

The 21.5-inch version shipped with a 1TB hard drive but could be configured to either a 1TB Fusion Drive or 256GV SSD. The 3.0 GHz 27-inch iMac also shipped with a 1TB hard drive as standard but added a 512GB SSD upgrade option. The 3.4GHz model further added a 1TB SSD option.

The graphics in the 21.5-inch iMac were powered by an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 processor while the 3.0 GHz iMac ran a Radeon Pro 555 with 2GB of VRAM. The more expensive 3.4 GHz 27-inch iMac had a Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB of VRAM.

The previous update to the line in 2017 was also primarily a speed bump but it did replace the older models' Thunderbolt 2 connectors with Thunderbolt 3.

Otherwise, the external design remained the same. While the iMac line has undergone radical changes over its more than 20-year life, the sole change since 2012 has been the addition of a retina screen in 2014.




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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 94
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,027member

    My pet wish was that they would remove the HDD options to make room for the iMac Pro’s dual blower cooler. Even with chips in the same wattage, it would allow more boosts and stay quieter.

    As speedbumps go this is entirely fine though. Apart from HDD-only options being criminal.


    Edit: No T2, weird. 

    edited March 19 davgregrazorpitfastasleepelijahgcurtis hannahrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 94
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,274member
    Well there 'ya go, another set of hardware worries answered. Folks are going to run out of things to complain about. 
    edited March 19 SpamSandwichmuthuk_vanalingamroundaboutnowwelshdogcurtis hannahmacxpressrandominternetpersonrepressthis
  • Reply 3 of 94
    SMH... More Fusion drives on the entry SKUs? Why on Earth can't Apple transition these EXPENSIVE machines to solid state like the rest of their line up? This isn't even amusing anymore... Apple is hocking an old design that could be dramatically improved with a few simple changes to improve cooling. And still hopelessly stuck on AMD Vega graphics, with no ability to choose. I've said this before, I'll say it again... Tim Cook is the absolute worst thing that ever happened to the Mac. The Mac is dying.
    elijahgdewmewilliamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 94
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,228member
    These are stop gap models. The fact Vega VII with 16GB HBM2 is out and not in any of these configurations means they are saving it for the Mac Pro.

    All of these models were determined pre-TB3 royalty free follow through by Intel.
    MacProfastasleeprepressthis
  • Reply 5 of 94
    SMH... More Fusion drives on the entry SKUs? Why on Earth can't Apple transition these EXPENSIVE machines to solid state like the rest of their line up? This isn't even amusing anymore... Apple is hocking an old design that could be dramatically improved with a few simple changes to improve cooling. And still hopelessly stuck on AMD Vega graphics, with no ability to choose. I've said this before, I'll say it again... Tim Cook is the absolute worst thing that ever happened to the Mac. The Mac is dying.
    Not just hyperbole, but ridiculous hyperbole at that... iMac Pro, new Mac mini, iMac update, far from dying Apple is refocusing on the Mac.
    kruegdudemike1StrangeDaysHenryDJPlkruppfastasleepLordeHawkroundaboutnowwilliamlondonrepressthis
  • Reply 6 of 94
    McJobsMcJobs Posts: 10member
    People wanted larger screens with slimmer bezels and a PCIe-flash storage as standard across the board. Tim Cook failed again.
    kestralDrmikelwilliamlondonmcdave
  • Reply 7 of 94
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    gatorguy said:
    Well there 'ya go, another set of hardware worries answered. Folks are going to run out of things to complain about. 
    Only if it were so.
    cornchipelectrosoftkruegdudemike1StrangeDaysmef475DAalsethHenryDJPDrmikelfastasleep
  • Reply 8 of 94
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,782member
    McJobs said:
    People wanted larger screens with slimmer bezels and a PCIe-flash storage as standard across the board. Tim Cook failed again.
    Nerds maybe, not people.
    cornchipdavgregmike1StrangeDaysmef475brucemcHenryDJPjony0robbyxfastasleep
  • Reply 9 of 94
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,241member
    gatorguy said:
    Folks are going to run out of things to complain about. 

    funniest thing I've read on AI this year.
    StrangeDaysbrucemcHenryDJPrazorpitjony0dsdfastasleepMisterKitroundaboutnowrandominternetperson
  • Reply 10 of 94
    sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 394member
    McJobs said:
    People wanted larger screens with slimmer bezels and a PCIe-flash storage as standard across the board. Tim Cook failed again.
    Economics aren't quite there yet.  Getting there but not quite there yet.  It's made worse by the fact that Apple continues to have a 3TB hard drive as the top end drive to put in an iMac when it's just as easy to put a 8 or 10 GB these days.  So a 3TB drive is CHEAP (used to be top of the line) where 4TB flash is still expensive.  Now Samsung has just introduced a cheaper 4TB SSD a few months back, but the MTBF rate is less than other products, which could be a long term issue in a machine not designed to be able to replace the SSD at all.

    The one piece of the iMac configuration puzzle that I'm not happy with is that no 10gb Ethernet option exists, even as a BTO.  Yes, I know that they still wanted some space between the iMac and the iMac Pro but I think the Xeons + Graphics do that well enough.  The cost of the Aquantia chip set used for 10gbe in the iMac Pro and the Mac Mini (!) is pretty light in the grand scheme of things.  Not sure why it got left out.  You can still get TB3 options if you want 10gbe on an iMac as before, but I don't get why it didn't make the cut.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 94
    gsteenogsteeno Posts: 52member
    Well, as someone who's still rockin' a 2009 iMac, this is an "oh, Thank GOD!" moment.  I had a lot of internal strife parting with $2K-type money on 2017 specs.

    (Now just need to find sweet spot of performance / budget.) 
    mef475iqatedorandominternetpersonrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 94
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 279member
    So how many think we will see or hear something about the mythical Mac Pro teased for a long time now?

    Not interested in iMacs- they are overpriced for a throwaway, glued shut all in one.
    kestralrazorpitwilliamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 94
    Only the MacBook left needing a bump now. Tomorrow maybe? Although hard to see what they could do that wouldn’t eat into the Air. 

    And I say this with my Education discount soon to expire. I had an iPad mini 2 I sold a while back, a 2015 iMac 27" and early 2016 MacBook.
    edited March 19
  • Reply 14 of 94
    kruegdudekruegdude Posts: 282member
    gatorguy said:
    Well there 'ya go, another set of hardware worries answered. Folks are going to run out of things to complain about. 
    Really? Read on. :-)
    mef475watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 94
    kruegdudekruegdude Posts: 282member

    sevenfeet said:
    McJobs said:
    People wanted larger screens with slimmer bezels and a PCIe-flash storage as standard across the board. Tim Cook failed again.
    Economics aren't quite there yet.  Getting there but not quite there yet.  It's made worse by the fact that Apple continues to have a 3TB hard drive as the top end drive to put in an iMac when it's just as easy to put a 8 or 10 GB these days.  So a 3TB drive is CHEAP (used to be top of the line) where 4TB flash is still expensive.  Now Samsung has just introduced a cheaper 4TB SSD a few months back, but the MTBF rate is less than other products, which could be a long term issue in a machine not designed to be able to replace the SSD at all.

    The one piece of the iMac configuration puzzle that I'm not happy with is that no 10gb Ethernet option exists, even as a BTO.  Yes, I know that they still wanted some space between the iMac and the iMac Pro but I think the Xeons + Graphics do that well enough.  The cost of the Aquantia chip set used for 10gbe in the iMac Pro and the Mac Mini (!) is pretty light in the grand scheme of things.  Not sure why it got left out.  You can still get TB3 options if you want 10gbe on an iMac as before, but I don't get why it didn't make the cut.
    FYI, if you spec up a 27” iMac you’re close to the iMac pro price point. Especially the ones that go on sale. 
    edited March 19 curtis hannahwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 94
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,071member
    SMH... More Fusion drives on the entry SKUs? Why on Earth can't Apple transition these EXPENSIVE machines to solid state like the rest of their line up? This isn't even amusing anymore... Apple is hocking an old design that could be dramatically improved with a few simple changes to improve cooling. And still hopelessly stuck on AMD Vega graphics, with no ability to choose. I've said this before, I'll say it again... Tim Cook is the absolute worst thing that ever happened to the Mac. The Mac is dying.
    Nonsense. We have great products, and a very healthy company. Those are the two hallmarks of one of the greatest modern CEOs. That you don’t like the specs or don’t want to pay more for SSD doesn’t negate that. These iMacs blow away my old one.
    mef475fastasleeproundaboutnowcurtis hannahwelshdogwilliamlondonrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 94
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,071member

    McJobs said:
    People wanted larger screens with slimmer bezels and a PCIe-flash storage as standard across the board. Tim Cook failed again.
    More nonsense. I don’t care about bezels (jesus some of you are obsessed with them), and I certainly don’t need a screen larger than 27”. SSD would be great but it’s there just as it was on my 2011 - check the box. 
    mef475mrboba1roundaboutnowwilliamlondonrandominternetpersonrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 94
    Thanks Apple for the Mac love...glad to see the updates!  I'm still totally happy with my mid-2017 4k retina iMac, but this will be great for others considering a new Mac.
    mef475jeffythequickrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 94
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,617member
    I will have to talk to the Treasurer Mrs Entropy, but I will get this update.  
    I did not want to go for the i9, and I couldn’t find an i7.  Keep the 2tB fusion, add Vega 48, put in my own RAM and hang an SSD to boot off on a TB port. AUD$4909. AUD$4259 if I settle for the i5.

    just built an AM4 Ryzen 7 2700X with Radeon pro Vega 64 with master entropy. All up AUD$2700 but has a rubbish screen in comparison (27 inch TN 2k 144hz freesync). Price difference does make me pause, but dam it, I wants it! My precious!

    Maybe wait and see if there is throttling?
    edited March 19 repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 94
    ElCapitanElCapitan Posts: 192member
    This is what an incremental update looks like!  :)

    Hopefully Apple has learned a lesson or two, and will keep these incremental coming at regular, reasonably predictable intervals. Meanwhile, here is a lot to like for many existing and new users. 
    mef475elijahgcurtis hannahJeff_in_TXrandominternetpersonrepressthiswatto_cobra
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